After a year's worth of renovation and remodeling, the Boise Idaho Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be rededicated during three dediatory sessions on Sunday, Nov. 18.
The church's First Presidency made the announcement Thursday, indicating that the renovated temple would be open for public tours from Saturday, Oct. 13 through Saturday, Nov. 10. Free reservations for the temple open house will eventually be available through the www.boisemormontemple.org website, although the reservation function isn't expected to be operational for a few weeks.
In conjunction with the temple dedication, there will also be a cultural celebration featuring music and dance on Saturday, Nov. 17, according to the First Presidency announcement.
Originally dedicated in 1984 as the church's 27th operating temple and the second (after the Idaho Falls Temple) in Idaho, the Boise Temple was closed last July for much-needed renovations to the structure, the interior and the grounds. The variegated marble on the temple exterior has been replaced with white granite, and new new gold-leafed statue of the angel Moroni has been affixed to the tallest of the temple's six spires. The temple's interior has been fully re-done, with improvements to the structure's walls and beams, expansion of the basement, changes to the floor plan and all new finishes and furnishings.
There have also been changes to the temple grounds, with new landscaping, sidewalks, retaining walls and planters.
Whenever an LDS temple is closed for a period of time so that extensive remodeling work can be done, the building is rededicated as a house of the Lord. Similar rededication services have been held following temple renovations in Atlanta, Ga., and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Once the temple is rededicated it will no longer be open to the general public. Unlike LDS meetinghouses, which are open to the public for worship services every Sunday, dedicated temples are only open to members who have been recommended by their local ecclesiastical leaders. In temples Latter-day Saints participate in sacramental services that they consider sacred, including proxy baptisms for the dead and marriages (called "sealings") for "time and all eternity."
There are currently 138 LDS temples operating around the world, including three others in Idaho — in Idaho Falls, Twin Falls and Rexburg, respectively. Fourteen additional temples are currently under construction, and another 14 — including one in Meridian, Idaho — are in the early stages of planning and approval.
With five temples either in use or being planned, Idaho ranks behind only Utah (16 temples) and California (7 temples) and is tied with Arizona among U.S.states with the most LDS temples. Not coincidentally, these are also the four states with the greatest number of Latter-day Saints, with just under 2 million Mormons in Utah, nearly 770,000 in California, nearly 420,000 in Idaho and about 395,000 in Arizona.
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company